2 YEARS IN THE MARGINS
On Friday 24 January, Eastern Margins turn 2 with a line-up showcasing the blistering edge of experimental music from East & South-East Asia and its diaspora.
We’re so, so excited to present a London debut for Absurd TRAX, the trailblazers of Hong Kong’s experimental club scene. Not only that, we’re welcoming back the dream-pop enchantress Yeule for a homecoming DJ set, 2 years after she graced our debut.
yeule is a holographic dream: the URL avatar of London / Singapore idol Nat Ćmiel. In our relentlessly digital existence, yeule’s music manages the rare feat of conveying real intimacy and warmth through our phone monitors. Her ethereal synth music are the pixels of honesty in our isolated newsfeed.
yeule graced the very first ever Eastern Margins party in the basement of Jaguar Shoes, and we’re incredibly excited to welcome her back. We’ve both grown a lot since then, as we’ve ticked off 20 shows, whilst yeule has just released her phenomenal debut album, Serotonin II.
Kelvin T, the young bull of Absurd Trax, was the mastermind behind Absurd Trax’s debut EP ‘Sedative’ in 2018 and since then his creative prowess has flourished rampantly.
This homegrown DJ and producer from Hong Kong crafted 7 releases by the age of 20 and honed his skills on forward-thinking Shanghai-based label Genome 6.66MBP. He tempered his potential gracing the decks of HK Boiler Room, Sonar Festival Hong Kong and online stations NTS and Radar, all before kicking into full gear at home with Absurd Trax.
With his full-length album ‘Unlock Voice’ released last year, Kelvin T’s delves into the tomes of sonic necromancy, empowering synths with the vibrancy of his emotions and blessing machines with the ability to sing, scream, cry and rage. His live-set channels these arts to overload dopamine tracts with visceral, kinetic energy, coaxing acolytes to dance and thrum towards a brave new world.
Tseung Kwan O’s very own Alexmalism (Alex Yiu) is the catalyst in Hong Kong’s post-genre club scene.
Alexmalism’s fearless frenzy of artistic expression transports club-goers to a forgotten Hong Kong of Fallen Angels, with a sound that spans techno, trance and minimal by way of Cantopop. His live set defiantly rejects the status quo, wielding his violin to build his own eclectic world of soaring industrial skyscrapers weaved into the crashing waves of Junk Bay, reflecting his mastery of both classical and improvisational tradition.
Since 2016, Alexmalism has set dancefloors on fire at XXX, HKCR, SHCR, Oil Club, All Club, Sonar Hong Kong 2019, and NTS Radio. His debut EP ‘TKO’ revolutionised the sonic landfill of wanton consumerism when released by Absurd Trax in 2018 (also released on Chinabot).
Nerve (Absurd TRAX) (Live)
Nerve has been a stalwart of Hong Kong’s experimental scene for over two decades. We first caught sight of him on the 20th floor of Wanchai’s infamous tower block, Foo Tak Building. Performing a devastating noise set in Twenty Alpha whilst simultaneously having half his hair carved by a razor, it’s stuck in our minds for some time. We were subsequently informed that this was just the tip of Nerve’s experimentation.
ASJ (Absurd TRAX) (Live)
“Our group embraces the idea of minorities, [a] genderless and deconstructed club scene,” she says of their mission. “The agenda bridges people together, [and] introduces a different underground scene that has never happened in Hong Kong club culture before.”
ASJ was born and raised in Hong Kong, but found her musical awakening in the faded dusks of Taipei’s nightlife. After connecting with pivotal members of Taiwan’s nightlife, including Sonia Calico and her UnderU crew, she connected with Absurd Trax upon her return to her hometown.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, THEGN began making industrial and noise music in the early 2010s. As their musical and artistic interests developed, so did their ambition of what industrial and dance music could sound like. At the core of their music exist themes of the effects our peers, culture, and environment have on the constant, lifelong negotiation of identity, and above all that an unending and aggressive sadness dominates the sound. Combining thick distortion, chaotic rhythms, and pained vocals, the overwhelming heaviness of Thegn’s music is heard not only in the themes but in the sound itself.
THEGN’s debut album, Loss, was a stand out in a phenomenal year of releases on Absurd Trax. We’re very excited to present this physical unity.
JD X b2b ONY (Eastern Margins, NTS Radio)
Eastern Margin’s prodigal son, JD X, teams up with the pride of Kingsland Road, ONY, for a all red-lining, straight head banging, tear inducing session. Not one to miss (even if you tried).
Eastern Margins for TANK Magazine